Friday, October 28, 2005


This is a story my mother told me when I was growing up. Before I was born my parents and my step sister, Lisa lived in a different town. My dad wasn't home much in the evenings, so more often than not my mother and step sister were left home alone.

My mother, being young, had been warned by the older neighborhood ladies to steer clear of the man living next door to them. Apparently he was known for having a violent temper and, according to them, there had been accusations of rape in his not-so-distant past. Whether this was true or not, my mother said both she and Lisa had found him creepy, what with his always staring at them like an oddball. It got to the point where my mother wouldn't allow Lisa to sunbathe in the backyard, since every time she did, he always seemed to materialize, hedge clippers in hand, perpetually trimming the hedges that divided their backyards.

The house my parents were living in at the time had a sun room, which was pretty much the hub of the house where stuff like reading the newspaper, watching TV, etc. took place.

One night, while my mother was sitting in the sun room reading, Lisa nearby (knitting or something to that effect), both of them casually talking, the lights went out all over the house. Initially thinking nothing of it, my mom told Lisa to look outside and see if the rest of the neighborhood's power was out as well, while she went to go find some candles. Lisa went to look out the window in the living room, only to see that the rest of the neighborhood seemed to be fine. Porch lights on et al. That's when they knew it must have been the circuit breaker. The only problem? The breaker box was outside, on the west side of house. Lisa didn't want to go and neither did my mom, but with my dad out of town on business, it would be hours before he came home.

My mom went into the kitchen to get a flashlight, Lisa staying close. However, before she could open the door to the sun room, to go outside, they both heard the shuffling of bushes outside. Being that there was no wind, my mom became suspicious, Lisa scared. My mom crept over to the window to see where the the sound was coming from and strained to see if she could make anything out. The area outside the sun room where the sound originated was at such an angle that you could only see so far, and naturally, no one can see around corners. As my mom strained to see if she could make anything out, she detected movement out of the corner of her eye. Concealed in the bushes that lined the side of the house near where the breaker box was located, she could just make out two feet...shifting uneasily to stay as close to the house as possible. It was their next door neighbor who'd switched the breaker off, waiting for one of them to come outside to switch it back on!

My mother called a neighbor whose husband came over, armed with a baseball bat and turned on the breaker for them. My parents soon moved to our current hometown shortly after.


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